Christmas is approaching and along with the smell of baking Christmas cookies, it brings a fresh wave of the “missing you’s”. Although I will probably never understand the reasons why God took my sweet mother home this year, I have recently begun to see Him use it for good.
I had the privilege of leading two mission teams to Peru this year and sharing the Gospel with nearly 200 children. Some of those children were orphans. Several of the young staff members were orphans. As I spoke with them and learned their stories, I was able to share with them from personal experience both the pain of losing a parent as well as the all-surpassing peace that God can give in even the most difficult of circumstances.
For nine years now I have been part of leading mission trips to the Dominican Republic and Peru. I’ve been to inner-city slums, remote villages, red light districts, sewage dumps. I’ve played tag with children who hadn’t eaten a meal in over 24 hours. I’ve held orphans in my arms.
And although I don’t know what it is like to live in the shoes of these children, I do know what it is like to have my heart completely tendered by a terrible circumstance, and I know that God is the only one who brings comfort and joy.